Artikel Jokowi di New York Times

Artikel New York Times tentang Jokowi
Outsider Breathing New Ideas Into Jakarta Election
By SARA SCHONHARDT - Published: September 19, 2012

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The campaign for governor of Indonesia’s chaotic capital has, at times, resembled a rock concert, punctuated by guitar riffs, fist pumps and checkered shirts. At its heart is Joko Widodo, a candidate whose message of change has propelled him into the upstart contender for leader of one of Asia’s most important metropolises.

In July, Mr. Joko, the mayor of Surakarta in Central Java, surprised pollsters by emerging from the first round of elections with 43 percent of the vote, ahead of the man who had been expected to win, Gov. Fauzi Bowo, who took 34 percent. With none of the six candidates winning a majority, Mr. Joko and Mr. Fauzi will compete in a runoff on Thursday.

This is only the second time Jakarta residents have voted for their city’s leader directly, and Mr. Joko, with his signature checkered shirts and populist manner, has injected new enthusiasm into the process. In a country where politicians often come from a tight-knit elite or have ties to the late president and military strongman Suharto, Mr. Joko, best known by his nickname Jokowi, appears to represent a new breed of politician, analysts say.

A furniture exporter who entered politics for the first time when he ran for mayor in 2005, he is widely perceived as clean and capable in a country beset by corruption — Transparency International ranked Indonesia 100th out of 182 countries in 2011. As mayor of Surakarta, Mr. Joko helped relocate street vendors to ease traffic congestion and introduced a modern tram system. He streamlined business application procedures, widened access to health services and cleaned up slums, the last an issue with special appeal to Jakarta voters. In 2010, he was re-elected with 90.9 percent of the vote. He is on the short list for World Mayor 2012, an award given out every two years by the City Mayors Foundation, an international research organization.

The question now is whether he can replicate his success in Surakarta, a city of 520,000, in the country’s sprawling capital, with its population of more than 10 million. His supporters hope so.

“He tackled the challenges in Solo and made it the best city in Indonesia,” said Kiki Arpio, an insurance agent at a campaign event for Mr. Joko, using another name for Surakarta. “What’s important is that he has a good vision for the city.”

Analysts say Mr. Joko’s first-round victory signaled that voters were eager for new leadership. It could also be a sign that traditional party affiliations and endorsements are waning in significance and could serve as a precursor to national elections scheduled for 2014.

“This election is a test to see if the political party apparatus is still an asset,” said Wimar Witoelar, a veteran political observer who was a spokesman for Abdurrahman Wahid, a former president.

Mr. Fauzi, 63, has deep roots in the Jakarta establishment, having served more than three decades as a civil servant and politician, and enjoys the backing of many Muslim leaders, academics and city officials. Most of Indonesia’s major parties are supporting him, including the Golkar Party, part of the governing coalition of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and led by Aburizal Bakrie, a presidential contender for 2014.

Mr. Joko, 51, has the support of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle, headed by former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who lost to Mr. Yudhoyono in 2004 and plans to run again in 2014.

Mr. Joko is also backed by the four-year-old Great Indonesia Movement Party, whose head, Prabowo Subianto, a former special forces commander with his own presidential ambitions, is helping finance his campaign. This has led some analysts to ask whether Mr. Prabowo intends to use an association with Mr. Joko to rehabilitate his own standing, which was tarnished by allegations of human rights abuses in the late 1990s under Mr. Suharto, his former father-in-law.

For now, at least, Mr. Joko’s candidacy has shaken up politics as usual, they say.

“He’s a cute figure, a funky figure, him and his checkered shirts and naïveté,” said Mr. Wimar. “It’s nice to have somebody busting the party oligarchy.”

Douglas Ramage, an analyst with the Bower Group Asia and an expert on Indonesian politics, said: “Voters are looking for integrity and clean governance. Party identification has collapsed in Indonesia.”

Mr. Joko has played up his outsider status. His supporters call themselves ants up against an elephant. “Now my alliance is with the people — a coalition with the people only,” he said at recent gathering for campaign volunteers.

Whoever wins the governorship will control a $4.3 billion budget and oversee the financial and political heart of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. That makes it a bit of a “honey pot,” said Mr. Ramage, noting that Jakarta’s wealth has helped fuel official corruption, often cited as a deterrent to foreign investment.

A new administration in Jakarta could expose much of the cronyism that operates under the surface, Mr. Ramage said, but he cautioned that it would be difficult for Mr. Joko to overhaul an entrenched bureaucracy and clamp down on corruption, something that President Yudhoyono, who campaigned on such a platform, has found daunting.

Mr. Fauzi has defended his record against criticism that he has done little to improve the city’s paralyzing traffic, decrepit infrastructure and poor access to clean water.

“Jakarta is one of the megacities of the world, and managing this is not as simple as ABC,” he said in an interview. “You need experience, you need to prove you’re capable, you need the heart for the city.”

That point was underlined by a popular Jakarta comedian known as Mandra, who is quoted as saying on Mr. Fauzi’s campaign Web site: “The mustache guy must continue with development,” a reference to the governor’s trademark facial hair.

After Mr. Fauzi’s second-place showing in the first vote, he began speaking more assertively about his accomplishments: a 12-year compulsory education program, lower unemployment, higher per capita income.

“I’m trying to reach out to more people, consolidating my networks that are already established, and restructuring my campaign strategy to be more down to earth,” he said. But even he admitted that Mr. Joko, whom he called a “media darling,” has presented a formidable challenge.

Mr. Joko, meanwhile, is steadfast in his fight. Asked during a recent press gathering what it would mean if the “elephant” defeated him on Thursday, he chuckled and said: “Nah, the ants will win.”